Be you instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from you; lest I make you desolate, a land not inhabited.
Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee.
I. THERE ARE MANY WOES WHICH ACCOMPANY SIN. "Many sorrows shall be to the wicked." All observation attests the truth of this word.
II. BUT THERE IS ONE WHICH MAY FITLY BE SPOKEN OF AS THE WORST OF ALL. It is this - God's soul departing from the sinner. This indeed is terrible. It is so amongst men. We hear at times of those who have worn out the love even of those who loved them most tenderly. They have made the soul of those who loved them to depart from them. Sons have done this for fathers and mothers, friends for friends, husbands for wives and wives for husbands; and to have thus driven away a deep and earnest love is a depth of ruin than which none in this world can be more terrible. But to have worn out the love of God - to have made his soul to depart from us, what woe can compare to that? His providential favor may depart from us, and that is sad. Our realization of his love in our hearts may depart from us, and that is sadder still. But for his love itself to depart, that is the worst of all.
III. WHAT, THEN, CAN CAUSE SO GREAT A CALAMITY TO COME UPON A MAN? It is his refusing instruction (cf. Proverbs 1., "Seeing thou hatest knowledge," etc.). This Judah and Jerusalem were doing; this all too many are doing now.
IV. BUT THIS GOD DEPRECATES GREATLY, AND IMPLORES US NOT TO BE GUILTY OF. "Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem" (cf. our Savior's tears over Jerusalem). Appeal. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.